Results tagged ‘ September ’

Looking at September Call Ups

The Phillies have a couple days to make a trade before the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline, but nothing appears imminent.

They also have a couple days before they can expand their roster. Danys Baez and Ross Gload certainly will be back once they are activated from the 15-day disabled list. Greg Dobbs also will be back. The rest remains up in the air.

Pitchers Drew Carpenter, Scott Mathieson, Nate Robertson, Vance Worley and Mike Zagurski are candidates. Outfielder John Mayberry Jr., infielder Cody Ransom and catchers Paul Hoover or Dane Sardinha are candidates for the bench.

The Phillies need a starter for their Sept. 6 doubleheader against the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Carpenter, Robertson and Worley are the most likely candidates. Nate Bump and Brandon Duckworth have pitched well, but I think the Phillies will look at the other three first.

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Gload, who is on the DL with a strained right groin, will head to Clearwater tomorrow and if everything goes well he will began a rehab assignment Tuesday with Class A Clearwater.

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Phillies Need to Step Up

The Phillies have lost four of their last five games and their 8 1/2 game lead over the Braves in the National League East with 13 games to play has fallen to five with eight to play. They’re still in a great spot to clinch the division, but they’re making things way more interesting than they need to be.

“I’m not taking it for granted that we’ve got the division won,” Charlie Manuel said after last night’s 7-5 loss to the Brewers. “Noooo, not at all.”

That is a good thing because the Phillies need to turn things around in their final eight games. I have written this before, but it is worth repeating: seven of the nine National League champions this decade were playing great baseball entering the postseason:

  • 2008: The Phillies finished a MLB-best 13-3 and won the World Series.
  • 2007: Colorado finished a Major League-best 14-1.
  • 2005: Houston finished an NL-best 13-5.
  • 2003: Florida finished a league-best 15-6 and won the World Series.
  • 2002: San Francisco finished an MLB-best 10-1.
  • 2001: Arizona finished a league-best 8-3 and won the World Series.
  • 2000: The Mets finished an MLB-best 9-2 in 2000.

Only the 2004 and ’06 Cardinals have bucked the trend. (Tony La Russa‘s genius?) The ’04 Cardinals lost five of their final seven games and went just 12-12 down the stretch. The ’06 Cardinals finished 3-9 before winning the World Series.

“You never want to lose,” Jayson Werth said. “It’s always frustrating to lose, no matter how you lose. But the good news is we are still who we are. We’re a really good ballclub and we’re in the driver’s seat. We just need to get the job done here. … As far as I’m concerned, it’s over when we’ve got it.”

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Getting Hot Bodes Well

Thumbnail image for manuel.jpgThe last time the Phillies saw the Nationals, Charlie Manuel expressed his frustration that his team played down to the competition.

“We’ve been getting outplayed by second division teams,” Manuel said last Thursday. “Our guys, especially the guys who were on our team the last couple years, know exactly what we’ve got to do. They know exactly how to get it. We’re playing right to the beat of basically who we’re playing. We’re just playing right with them. That’s how we played Pittsburgh. That’s how we played Houston. That’s how we played these guys.

“We don’t put anybody away.”

And that was after the Phillies won two of three from Washington.

But there is a good reason for the Phillies to start playing better in their final 20 games. Seven of the nine National League champions this decade were playing great baseball entering the postseason:

  • 2008: The Phillies finished a MLB-best 13-3 and won the World Series.
  • 2007: Colorado finished a Major League-best 14-1.
  • 2005: Houston finished an NL-best 13-5.
  • 2003: Florida finished a league-best 15-6 and won the World Series.
  • 2002: San Francisco finished an MLB-best 10-1.
  • 2001: Arizona finished a league-best 8-3 and won the World Series.
  • 2000: The Mets finished an MLB-best 9-2 in 2000.

Only the 2004 and ’06 Cardinals have bucked the trend. (Tony La Russa‘s genius?) The ’04 Cardinals lost five of their final seven games and went just 12-12 down the stretch. The ’06 Cardinals finished 3-9 before winning the World Series.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

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